Kenya president warns judiciary after it nullifies election

04 September, 2017, 16:45 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • High Court Hears Closing Arguments In Challenge to Kenyan President's Re-Election

In an unprecedented move, Kenya's Supreme Court on Friday annulled the August 8 election results, citing irregularities, and ordered the holding of new polls within 60 days.

In Gatundu, President Uhuru Kenyatta's hometown, residents who spoke to Nation said the decision by the Supreme Court was not only unfair but it is also bad for the economy as the money spent during the August 8 election "has just gone to waste".

Odinga had claimed the country's election commission's IT system had been hacked to manipulate the election results. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OPPOSITION PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, RAILA ODINGA, SAYING: "We have no faith at all in the electoral commission as now constituted".

The president is obliged by law to respect and uphold the constitution, which means upholding and safeguarding the rights of Supreme Court judges, said the society's chairman, Isaac Okero. Days after the election, Kenyatta was declared the victor with 54% of the vote, which led to protests and clashes with the police, resulting in 24 deaths.

Many social media users tweeting on the issue said that the court's judgment was a victory for Kenyan democracy.

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Last month's election is the first one to be nullified in the East African country.

"Who even elected you?.We have a problem and we must fix it", he said.

Unsurprisingly Mr Kenyatta was less enthusiastic, saying of the judges that "six people have decided they will go against the will of the people". Ahead of the vote Kenya's treasury said preparation and execution of polling would cost the equivalent of around $480 million. Kenyans now hope the repeat election will help determine who the most preferred candidate is. The vote was widely praised by worldwide observers - including John Kerry, a former USA secretary of state - who called Mr Odinga to accept defeat.

It is believed to be the first time in Africa that a court has ruled against the electoral win of an incumbent based on a court challenge by the opposition.

Citing irregularities, Chief Justice David Maraga said a new vote should be held within 60 days, the BBC reports.

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Kenya's electoral commission said it would change personnel and processes to prepare for a new presidential vote.

Odinga, 72, was named Prime Minister and Kenyatta his deputy in a coalition government in 2008 February following the disputed presidential election of Dec 27, 2007.

Ms Schaake said the monitors were awaiting the full details of the ruling.

A lawyer for the electoral commission, Paul Muite, had argued in a submission to the court that the irregularities were not enough to overturn the result.

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